What type of foods should I be eating in order to bulk up?
February 11, 2009 3:49 PM   Subscribe

What type of foods should I be eating in order to bulk up?

In reference to this question.

It seems that the common response to my previous question was I need to eat better and eat more before I can really gain muscle/bulk. I feel that I don't eat enough or well enough.

My daily meals are as follows:
breakfast: 3 hard-boiled eggs
lunch: Chipotle
dinner: whatever I can easily find to stop being hungry

Can anyone give me some help on how to immediately turn my eating habits around to make myself able to build muscle (or at least bulk up)?

I'm sick of feeling like I'm wilting away to nothing. I've been lazy about this for too many years and it's time to turn it around. (Yes, I'm pissed off at myself.)

I am not a very good cook at all so I'm kind of at a loss for where to begin. Any help would be fantastic. Thanks!
posted by decrescendo to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I hear I need red meat but I can't say I've ever cooked any in the last 8 months.

Anyone have ideas for specific meals to throw as much healthy mass on my frame as possible?
posted by decrescendo at 3:51 PM on February 11, 2009

Red meat is good for its creatine content. Isolated soy protein in particular contains high levels of phytoestrogens and should be avoided.

Lots of people use a 40/30/30 or 50/30/20 protein/fat/carb split; the important thing is caloric intake. For lean, low-sodium protein, poultry is king.

Eggs, nuts, meat, 2% milk are all good.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:04 PM on February 11, 2009

Example. Note that what is unusual is not the result but the amount of soy protein consumed - less than you could conceivably be consuming to add large amounts of protein and calories.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:13 PM on February 11, 2009

High quality protein.

- Tuna
- Lean beef
- Lean pork
- Salmon
- Chicken/turkey
- Sardines
- Legumes
- Egg whites
- Nuts
posted by fire&wings at 4:18 PM on February 11, 2009

I just saw this on cnn.com and thought you might find it interesting/helpful:

Good luck with your goal!
posted by angiewriter at 4:31 PM on February 11, 2009

ooops...Here you go
posted by angiewriter at 4:33 PM on February 11, 2009

Angiewriter - 2000 calories is not a bulking diet unless you're 3'0".
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:35 PM on February 11, 2009

Canned sardines are great with hot sauce.
Nut butters (peanut, (almond is best nutritionally))

It would help if you listed your height/weight.

If you are under a certain threshold I would say eat as much as possible (with the exception of sweets/packaged things).

No matter where you are now, it's clear that you aren't eating enough to support any type of muscle gain.

Don't be too worried about becoming chunky. If you are skinny and working out, this may be your best (or only) productive option.

Paraphrasing what bodybuilder Joe Weider once said "It's better to eat fast food than a zen diet where you eat only perfect things" when talking to people in your position.

And nthing what Inspector.Gadget and fire&wings said.
posted by bradly at 4:37 PM on February 11, 2009

Don't ignore good fats - sardines, salmon, avocados, nuts. The Chipotle at lunch might be too carby.
posted by arimathea at 4:42 PM on February 11, 2009

Avoid booze is the best advice I can give you. Adhering to every popular diet is easy when you're shitfaced all the time.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 4:53 PM on February 11, 2009

Your caloric intake should be approximately 15-18 times your body weight. It should be a healthy ratio of approximately 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat. For muscle growth you'll need lots of high quality protein and fat--protein in particular. You should be eating a minimum of 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight per day. That's not as easy as it sounds. Your average 6oz. chicken breast is something like 45 g. of protein.

Protein = 4 calories / gram
Carbohydrates = 4 calories / gram
Fat = 9 calories / gram

your weight * 18 = target daily caloric intake (DCI)

DCI * 40% = daily protein (calories) / 4 calories/g (conversion #1) = daily protein in grams
DCI * 30% = daily carbs (calories) / 4 calories/g (conversion #2) = daily carbs in grams
DCI * 30% = daily fat (calories) / 9 calories/g (conversion #3) = daily fat in grams
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:02 PM on February 11, 2009

6'4" 180 lbs

here is my original question
posted by decrescendo at 5:38 PM on February 11, 2009

At 6'4" 180, you need to gain about 50 pounds.

Drink a gallon of milk every day.
posted by tiburon at 5:50 PM on February 11, 2009

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. I'm 6'1", and went from 170 to 210 on his program during my wife's pregnancy.
posted by tiburon at 5:52 PM on February 11, 2009

"I need to eat better and eat more before I can really gain muscle/bulk."

You need to eat more WHILE you are gaining muscle. That is the whole point.
posted by tiburon at 5:53 PM on February 11, 2009

Inspector.Gadget, the article you linked to is behind a paywall. Could you link to the abstract on PubMed?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 6:43 PM on February 11, 2009

Civil_disobedient is right on... notice that he basically advised you to eat 180 g of protein every day, and yes, that's difficult. Whenever you have meat, have a double helping. I have also heard from a few different sources that it helps to eat high glycemic-index foods (white rice, potatoes, white bread, Gatorade) before and after workouts. The only source I can find at the moment is this one, which looks a little... less than rigorous, so take it as you will.

It also helps to understand the differences between various proteins; some are processed faster than others. For example, you may want to have a whey protein shake (or 2) before and after each workout, because whey is processed in a matter of an hour or two, whereas you may want to drink a casein shake (or 2 or 3) before bed because it stays in your system for 6+ hours. Definitely keep a jug each of whey and casein powder in your house, and drink a shake whenever you're bored or hungry or about to work out.

You should be at least moderately full all the time. It can actually be annoying to eat that much, particularly if you get lethargic when you get full.
posted by rkent at 8:57 PM on February 11, 2009

Milk. Drink gallons of it everyday. Mix it with protein powder sometimes. If you've always been too skinny, then you don't just need to eat lots of protein, you also need carbs. Once you notice your abs disappearing you can cut back on the carbs, but if you've really got a high metabolism it might never happen.

In a huge pot fry 5 chicken breasts in olive oil. Throw in some big chunks of fatty pork. When all the meat is thoroughly browned, add some chopped garlic, onions, bell peppers. Throw in some water and cook it all for 20 minutes. Add a shit-ton of rice, some black pepper, salt and paprika and stir around for a few minutes. Dump this all in a big, deep oven pan. Throw it in the oven and bake it at a high temperature for a half-hour...occasionally turning the rice around to get it somewhat evenly cooked. Eat this all day long every day. It's delicious. There's also a version with chickpeas that's even better.
posted by creasy boy at 12:17 AM on February 12, 2009

Eat more & take a protein supplement. By eat more I mean constantly stuff yourself. Eat far more than you think. When you think you are full keep eating. That is the only way I ever put on any weight.

As rkent said You should be at least moderately full all the time.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 2:50 PM on February 12, 2009

Maxwell_Smart, that article is also behind a paywall. Seriously, could you tell us the name of the paper, or the authors, or link to the abstract on Pubmed?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 6:56 PM on February 12, 2009

It wasn't for me when I posted it. But, that could have been because I was following a google link.

Pubmed Abstract
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 2:01 PM on February 19, 2009

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